Last week was an excellent week for the world of minor league baseball. Impressive achievements, great team wins, excellent plays, we had it all. Let’s see who stood out the most and was the best of the best in the minors last week.
OF Griffin Conine (Marlins No. 22) – The son of the legendary “Mr. Marlin” Jeff Conine, Griffin has been working hard to make his own name with Miami following a 2020 trade from the Blue Jays. Safe to say, he’s off to a good start. Conine has been battling with Royals prospect MJ Melendez for the minor league home run lead, and put some distance between the two Sunday afternoon. With an already impressive 31 homers on the year, Conine blasted another two to pad his lead with 33 total, including three in a row dating back to Saturday. Even with lofty shoes to fill, Conine is making his mark in the Marlins’ system.
RHP Ryan Murphy (Giants No. 21) – While Conine is battling for the home run lead, Murphy is battling for the strikeout lead. Murphy was all business Friday night, retiring 14 batters in a row over five strong innings. His seven punchouts on the night retook the lead, and gave him 148 over 98.1 frames on the year. His pristine 1.21 ERA for High-A Eugene isn’t too shabby either.
C Sam Huff (Rangers No. 5) – Everything is bigger in Texas, especially Huff’s home runs. The slugging catcher connected on two mammoth blasts Friday night for Double-A Frisco. His first traveled 446 feet, and his second went 475 feet. That’s a combined 921 feet on two swings of the bat. After making an impressive rookie debut for Texas last season, Huff is working his way back to Arlington after suffering a right knee injury in minor league camp. At this rate, Texas might not have much of a choice.
SS Anthony Volpe (Yankees No. 1) – When Volpe was drafted 30th overall in 2019, there were some concerns with his bat potential, and that the Yankees might have reached a little for him. He’s done his best to change that perception. Volpe’s impressive offensive season has landed him as New York’s new number one prospect, somewhere we thought Jasson Dominguez’s name would be for a long time. How did Volpe respond? Only by crushing a walk off homer to beat High-A Brooklyn on Thursday night. Not bad for a supposed glove-first shortstop.
RHP Matt Brash (Mariners No. 11) – Other entries on the list usually come with some sort of milestone moment, or a big play. Not in Brash’s case. Starting game one of a Thursday doubleheader for Double-A Arkansas, the 2019 4th-round pick went the distance for the Travelers. Brash took a no-hitter into the seventh, and while he couldn’t complete it, finished with a complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts. Brash compiled a 2.55 ERA in 10 games with High-A Everett to start the year, and has looked even better since his promotion, tallying a 1.91 ERA in six starts.
OF Sal Frelick (Brewers No. 2) – While Matt McLain was the first 2021 draft pick to make the list, he was unranked at that time. (He has since slotted in as Cincinnati’s No. 4 prospect) Frelick is the first 2021 draft pick to be ranked and make the list, slotting in at Milwaukee’s second best. The 15th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Frelick has started his professional career on fire. The Boston College product is sporting a .412 average over his first 10 games, including a 5-for-6 performance for Low-A Carolina on Tuesday night. Combined with 2020 first rounder Garrett Mitchell, the Brew Crew have a formidable outfield duo waiting in the wings.